The 4am Train

The tracks are just a little over a mile from my house.

Every morning around 4am a train goes by.

This train, for some reason, believes that it can only go through this part of town if it lays on the whistle/horn/what-ever-you-call-it (I’m not a train person) the entire time.

At 4am every morning the baby hears this train whistle/horn/what-ever-you-call-it, sits up in his bed and loudly announces “TRAIN! TRAIN!”.

Somedays we can get the baby back to sleep.

Somedays we can’t.

I would like to tell everyone what kind of things go through my mind at 4am every morning.

But I won’t.

Because I don’t want to land on some sort of federal watch list.

The Big Talk (or explaining “doing the sex”)

So the other day Demon Spawn came running into the kitchen to tell me that his older brother had decided to make two characters from the Sims game he was playing “do the sex”.

“Do the sex?”

“Yes!” Demon Spawn said enthusiastically. “He’s trying to make them DO! THE! SEXXXXXXXXX!!!!!”

I sat there slightly stunned, trying to think of how to handle the situation, when it occurred to me that there was a good chance that neither Demon Spawn nor his big brother really knew what it meant to actually do the have sex. So I walked into the living room and asked the oldest what he thought “doing the sex” was.

“Kissing and hugging… and stuff?”

“What kind of ‘stuff’?”

“I don’t know…”

“Yup, that’s about it. Don’t make your Sims do that. I’m going to cook dinner.” And that’s how I planed on leaving the conversation until he stumbled upon internet porn.

My wife on the other hand decided, after I told her the story later, that this would be a good opportunity to have the sex talk. The anatomical sex talk. Not the “where babies come from” sex talk, but the “what it physically entails” sex talk. I told her that she was wrong and laid out the internet porn idea which she quickly struck down while also starting a conversation about how it may be time to put the parental locks on all the things.

So the talk it was.

The next day we gathered the two oldest in the livingroom and I let my wife do most of the talking, “So you know where baby’s come from right?”

“Right?”

The oldest finally decided to answer, “Um… Yes? Sex? A man… ? And woman get… together? And, um, do sex? And a part of the man combines with part of the woman,” and then the stuff he understood came out much easier, “and then the egg is fertilized and one cell starts multiplying in the momma’s belly, uh, uterus, and eventually it makes a whole baby that comes out of the vagina.”

“Ok, do you know what having sex actually is?”

At this point in the conversation I thought that I had never been more uncomfortable in my life.

“Kissing and hugging and… stuff?”

At least he’s consistent, I thought.

My wife started again, “Kissing and hugging is part of it…”

“Well that really depends on…”, I was cut off with a look. “Never mind. Go on sweetie, you’re doing great!”

“Anyway, kissing and hugging is part of it, but do you know what the other ‘stuff’ is?”

“No.”

“Well the other stuff… Is… Well the other stuff is the actual act of sex which is… So you know boys have a penis and girls have a vagina? Well… Um…”

I decided to rescue her, “The man puts his penis inside the vagina and that’s how the male and female parts, sperm and egg, get together and make a baby!”

“So, wait… I’m going to have to do THAT!?!?!”

“If you continue to like girls there’s going to come a time when you’re going to really want to do that.”

“So I’m just going to be all like ‘oh look, there’s a vagina, I would like to put my penis in it’?”

And I was wrong earlier because that was most uncomfortable I ever felt in my life…

Video Games: A Rant

What follows an approximant account of the lecture I found myself giving my two oldest children last night. I want to state right now that I have no problem with video games and am actually quite fond of playing them myself, but there’s only so much a dad can take…

No! No! NO!!!

I will NOT get you through the rest of this dungeon!

No I will NOT beat this boss for you!

Do you think I had someone to get me through the hard parts of games when I was a kid?!?!

You think Nana or Grandpa ever beat a boss for me?

No.

No they didn’t.

My generation was the first to have complicated games and we didn’t have parents that knew how to play.

My parents played Pac-man and Pong and pinball!

We didn’t have the luxury of living in a house with someone who’s played games for 25+ years and who knew how video game logic works.

No, when I was a kid, WHEN I WAS A CHILD, we had to figure out how to get through things ourselves dammit!

WE didn’t even have the INTERNET!

Yeah, that’s right! No internet.

Let that shit sink in.

If we were lucky we had a friend who had played before us or we knew someone who knew someone who was able to save up enough money to buy a Nintendo Power magazine that might, MIGHT, have an answer to a question about the game we were playing in it!

When I was a kid, when that old man between the fires in the beginning of Zelda said “take this, it’s dangerous to go alone”, all he gave us was that sword, because we, we were truly alone out there in the shit man.

WE figured the puzzles out ourselves!

To US, every “secret”, be it level, weapon or what have you, was an actual goddam secret that you either stumbled on yourself by chance or you had to research and hunt down  like it was the Ark-of-the-MOTHERFUCKING-COVENANT!

WE DID THAT THAT SHIT OURSELVES! 

WE, WE HAD GAMES THAT NO ONE WE KNEW COULD BEAT!!

WE WERE THE LONELY MOTHERFUCKING WARRIORS OF VIDEO GAMES AND WE ARE BETTER PEOPLE BECAUSE OF IT, NOW STOP ASKING ME TO PLAY YOUR GODDAM GAMES FOR YOU!!!

Um…

I’m sorry, Daddy didn’t mean to…

Please stop crying guys…

I didn’t mean to…

How about I get y’all through those levels and we just don’t tell Momma about this?

Ok?

I… I love you… 

 

One For The New Year

People I know have been asking me recently why I’ve stopped posting. Usually I come up with some bullshit answer like “nothing interesting is happening” or “I’ve been too busy”. Truth be told there are multiple reasons and most have to do with something I’m notoriously uncomfortable with: emotions.

Stupid, stupid emotions.

See, I’ve been avoiding writing anything because I don’t like to talk about feelings. Not real feelings anyway.

I want to write light, funny antidotes about the cute, comical little things my kids do while growing-up. And I want to write light, funny antidotes about the ways kids suck sometimes but it’s all worth it because of…

Well, I guess there’s the problem.

Things have started to feel a lot less light and funny.

I wake up looking forward to bed time. 

I react the same now to one of my children screaming in pain as I do to one of my children laughing hysterically in joy (if you’re wondering, that reaction is indifference (or annoyance depending on how loudly the crying/laughing is)).

I’m morose and generally unpleasant to everyone.

So what I’m trying to say is that I’m becoming, or have become, an unbearable dick.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to read a post written by an unbearable dick. 

But, it is a new year, and as I saw yesterday written over a picture of Robert Downey Jr. rolling his eyes, “It’s Time for that New Year, New Me, bullshit”.

So here’s me taking the first step and admitting that there is a problem, and saying that it’s time for me to start actively trying to stop being so fucking miserable all the time, start writing more often, go fishing more often, stop looking at life like it’s a burden and appreciate it for the love, beauty and all the other mushy emotional shit it provides and maybe lose a few pounds while I’m at it!

And if bootstrapping doesn’t work, there’s always antidepressants.

 

Something Positive

My wife sometimes accuses me of having a negative view of our children.

Actually what she says is, “You don’t like them very much do you?”, but you know, whatever, same thing. And It probably doesn’t help that I usually answer with a shrug and a “Meh…”.

But I decided after my last post that I wouldn’t post again until I had something positive to say about my children.

That was a month ago.

So, because I really feel that it’s been too long since my last post and it’s the time of year we Americans are supposed to think about the things we’re thankful for I decided to force it so I can get back to writing.

Ok, here I go:

  • My oldest is very, very smart, very funny, incredibly kind, empathetic and only cries two or three times a day over stupid shit.
  • Demon Spawn, the middle child, is also very smart and funny, he is well behaved in school and anywhere his mother and I are not, and he doesn’t smell anywhere near as bad as he used to.
  • The baby… Well… He’s awfully cute I guess…
  • Also they brought a level of joy to my I didn’t know was possible, they light up my otherwise cynical, dark soul, they make my life worth living , I love them more than I thought I could ever love anything and even the thought of being without them is completely unbearable.

So there you go. Happy Thanksgiving.

Mice, Knives and Pain

My last post was all about how boring things have been around here. That post was a mistake. Not the information in that post. That was true. It was starting to get boring, but having the hubris to put how boring things have gotten in print? That was a mistake.

The what I now view as normalcy started almost immediately after hitting the publish button on that last post with the mouse incident:

It’s starting to get cold outside, we live in an old house and sometimes field mice get in to escape the elements, usually just to be toyed with and then brutally murdered by our cat, Swirly Rainbowtron Catinator. Yes that’s her actual name. Sometimes Swirly falls a little short on the murder part and leaves these stunned mice on the kitchen floor. This how early one morning while getting the older boys ready for school I hear, “Daddy! The baby is making a mouse swim!”

… “What?”

“He has a mouse! And a glass of water! And he’s putting them together! Mouses don’t seem to swim good Daddy!”

“Mice, buddy. Mice don’t seem to swim well…”

Then there was the incident where I heard Demon Spawn screaming for me to come and help him and I came in to find that the baby had cornered him on the couch by repeatedly thrusting a steak knife (a steak knife I had never seen before and am convinced that the baby lifted from a restaurant and had been hiding on his person prison style) at him and giggling insanely.

Also the baby, who weighs more than the four year old, has decided cuddling involves headbutts to face.

So things have gotten back to normal around here.

I guess that teaches me to complain about being bored.

 

Why Won’t They Do Anything Funny?

I think we’re in a rut.

Nothing exciting is happening.

The house is staying clean.

Demon Spawn has mellowed.

The oldest goes to school, comes home, does his homework, plays his nonviolent/age appropriate video games and goes to bed.

The baby still gets into everything he can but other than an incident involving him drinking hand sanitizer and immediately throwing up everywhere nothing really new or exciting has been happening on that front.

I’m still at home.

My wife is still working.

Maybe I should look at it in a more positive light and say we’ve finally got a good routine down, but when you’re looking for funny things to post about it really feels like less of a positive thing.

Maybe I should start making shit up…